1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as:
The International Year of Literacy, by the United Nations (UN).
January 1: In Peru, the television businessman Ricardo Belmont assumes the position of mayor of Lima, after winning the municipal elections of Peru held on November 12, 1989.
January 1: Univisión presents a new logo presented by Chayeff & Geismar.
January 1: The TV comedy series Mr. Bean, by actor Rowan Atkinson, premieres on Thames Television (London).
January 3: In Panama, Manuel Antonio Noriega surrenders to US forces.
January 4: in Sangi (Pakistan) two trains collide, leaving a balance of 300 people dead and 700 injured.
January 7 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa is closed to the public due to security concerns.
January 9: Lieutenant General Bazilio Olara-Okello, who carried out a coup in Uganda against President Milton Obote, dies at the Ormduruman hospital in Khartoum, Sudan.
January 11 – A 300,000-strong pro-independence rally takes place in Lithuania.
January 13: In the United States, Douglas Wilder (of the state of Virginia) becomes the first black governor in the history of that country.
January 15: in the cities of Atlanta, San Luis and Detroit (United States) the telephone service ―including the 911 emergency number― goes down for nine hours, due to a software problem in the AT&T company (crash on the Day of Martin Luther King).
January 15: in Argentina, Telefe takes over the license for Channel 11.
January 19 – Civil protests known as Black January begin in Baku, Azerbaijan.
January 25: in Spain the broadcasts of the television channel Antena 3 begin.
January 25: in Cove Neck (Long Island, near New York) an Avianca plane crashes while flying from Medellín (Colombia) to New York (United States). 73 people die. (See Avianca Flight 52).
January 27: in Honduras, Rafael Leonardo Callejas assumes the presidency.
February 1: The FRG government adopts a resolution to conduct negotiations with the GDR for the establishment of a monetary union.
February 3 – The Supreme Soviet approves the law on the modalities of secession of the republics of the Soviet Union.
February 4: in Costa Rica, the results of the presidential elections give the Social Christian Rafael Ángel Calderón as the winner.
February 5: in Galicia (Spain), Manuel Fraga is sworn in as the new president of the Junta de Galicia.
February 7: in Moscow (Soviet Union) the plenary session of the central committee of the CPSU approves, with only one vote against, the renunciation of its monopoly of power in the Soviet Union.
February 7: in Brussels the GATT Conference fails due to discrepancies on the issue of agricultural subsidies.
February 9: Works to demolish the Berlin Wall begin in Germany.
February 9: In Poland, in the second round of the presidential elections, Lech Walesa wins with 74.2% of the votes.
February 9: The Namibian Constituent Assembly unanimously approves the new Constitution.
February 9: in Vizcaya, the Artxanda Amusement Park is closed after 16 years in operation. The maintenance of its facilities for 28 years would cause an extraordinary expense to the Provincial Council.
February 10: Volkswagen obtains the award of the Czechoslovak factories of Škoda.
February 11 – In Soweto, South Africa, Nelson Mandela is released from prison after 27 years in captivity. He will remain on the US Government's terrorist list until 2008. 
February 11 – James Douglas knocks out Mike Tyson for the world heavyweight title.
February 11: in Albania, the Party of Labor decides